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Trayvon Martin, One Year Later

The Florida teenager was shot dead a year ago today. Barbara Reynolds, a black clergywoman and columnist, commemorates the event  with a bleak meditation on how the thing that made Martin’s death stand out is the fact that he was shot and killed by a white guy:

Yet if there are no guys like Zimmerman- who is of white and Hispanic background- to attack, there is often numbness, an unjustified nothingness when the issue is blacks killing blacks. The civil rights machines don’t crank up, the pulpits seldom roar with vitriolic sermons and editorials crying out loudly for an end to the black-on-black carnage are few and far between. In fact there is such a lack of programs, protest or caring about black kids getting killed, I wonder have their lives ceased to matter at all to the powerbrokers.  As Charles Ramsey, Washington’s former police chief reportedly said at a gun forum, “Nobody in this room would have known Trayvon Martin if he had been shot by a black kid.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that among 10 to 24 year olds, homicide is the leading cause of death for African Americans and other reports show that more than 90 percent of the violence is from other blacks, mostly from guns.

Insofar as their lives “cease to matter to powerbrokers,” both in the black activist community and in the media, it’s because those deaths do not fit into the emotional and ideological narrative preferred by these powerbrokers. It’s why Muslims killed by Israelis are holy martyrs to Muslim activists, but Muslims killed by other Muslims, meh.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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